Imperial Tobacco Canada urges province to work with Health Canada in developing positive public health policy
MONTREAL, Oct. 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada hopes recent news reports that suggest the Nova Scotia government intends to treat electronic cigarettes like traditional cigarettes are unfounded. Canada's largest tobacco manufacturer says regulating e-cigarettes, which do not contain any tobacco, under the same regulatory framework as tobacco products would be a big mistake and ignore the advice of public health experts who have issued strong warnings against excessive and uneducated regulation of e-cigarettes.
"We were shocked to learn that Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Strang, stated that the province intends to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products," said Caroline Ferland, Vice-President of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs. "While we strongly support the introduction of a regulatory framework for e-cigarettes, we feel such a framework must take into account the unique nature of the product and must be based on facts and sound evidence."
This week, Health Canada advised the House of Commons Health Committee that e-cigarettes require their own unique regulatory framework that reflects this unique product category. Many health advocates, including 50 specialists in nicotine science and public health policy who recently wrote to the World Health Organization, consider that e-cigarettes could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century, and urge to not regulate them as tobacco products. Nonetheless, based on recent media reports, Nova Scotia appears ready to ignore the potential public health benefits of e-cigarettes and sidestep the federal process by jumping to its own conclusions and shutting down all public debate on the issue.
"We find it irresponsible that Nova Scotia would decide independently that the potential harm-reduction benefits of e-cigarettes should be ignored, while the Federal Government and health authorities have acknowledged the need for a fact-based approach," concluded Ferland. "The Federal Government stated this week that they are working with the provinces to develop an appropriate regulatory framework, yet it seems Nova Scotia may be operating in its own silo."
Regardless of the accuracy of the statement made by the Chief Public Health Officer, Imperial Tobacco Canada strongly encourage the elected officials of Nova Scotia to work with the Federal Government in its study to develop a fact-based regulatory framework that recognizes the unique nature of e-cigarettes.
SOURCE: Imperial Tobacco Canada
For further information: Sebastien Dolan, 514-932-6161 ext.2222